With winter on the way and several back-to-back holidays, the last thing you want to add to your “to-do” list is worrying about damage to your home and the accompanying insurance costs (if insurance even covers the damage).
Below are seven Home Improvements that should be made before Thanksgiving:
1. Fall Lawn Care:
This is the most important step you can take to ensure your lawn’s health and beauty in the spring. Raking leaves, aerating your lawn will ensure the roots grow deeply a produce a stronger vigorous lawn while fertilizing your grass will allow your lawn to enter its winter slumber more comfortably and properly nourished.
2. Seal Gaps and Plan for Insulation:
If you have a leaky house, it’s costing you money. Heat ends up escapes and cold air leaks into your home, so you turn up the thermostat or just shiver in your home. The U.S. Department of Energy suggest you get an energy audit, which includes a review of your home’s caulking and weather stripping, so you find and seal the gaps. The auditor will also likely look inside your attic. If the insulation is at or below the level of the joists, you might be able to add more insulation to keep your home warmer. A depth of 10-14 inches is generally considered optimal.
3. Tune-up the Furnace:
The furnace is the heart of your home’s winter warmth. Getting an annual check-up for your furnace can not only prevent costly problems down the road, but it can also help you heat your home more effectively now. Remember to also change your furnace filter on a regular basis for clean, efficient heating.
4. Clean, Repair, and Protect Gutters:
Your gutters divert thousands of gallons of water each year. To keep water flowing smoothly away from your home instead of leaking into it, inspect and clean your roof’s drainage system. Protect your gutters with mesh guards to keep leaves and other debris from causing blockages in the first place. Hire a pro to complete the project or be prepared to spend a damp dirty day doing it yourself.
5. Winterize Faucets and Sprinklers:
Most exterior plumbing in areas with temperatures below freezing must be winterized to prevent freezing and bursting.
6. Fireplace Inspections and Repair:
To ensure safe use of a fireplace, proper inspection of a fireplace is critical. A chimney sweep will check wood fireplaces for flammable build-up and chimney blockages such as bird nests. A chimney or fireplace professional can also check for improperly functioning dampers, damaged brickwork and masonry, and missing or damaged flue caps. To reduce the amount of heat escaping from your home, you may want to consider using a chimney balloon when you are not using your fireplace.
7. Roof Repair:
The cold of winter can aggravate even the smallest of roof leaks. Any leaks in a home’s roof should be repaired in advance of the first snowfall.
These tips should get you off to a great start with keeping your home safe and insurance costs down this winter. Need recommendations for vendors who can perform these tasks, or a review of your current homeowner’s policy, contact Healy Insurance.
Stay safe out there and bundle up!
About the Authors
Connie Greenwood has 35 years of experience as an Insurance Advisor. She enjoys helping her clients and prospects understand their insurance options, and crafting insurance solutions tailored to their unique needs. Connie finds great joy in being a trusted advisor for her clients. She loves helping protect their financial welfare against unforeseen accidents and circumstances and bringing them peace of mind.
Tim Pingel has almost 20 years of experience as a personal insurance adviser. He provides individuals, couples, and families with home, auto, and umbrella insurance. His ultimate goal is to be his clients’ trusted adviser and expert, so they have the peace of mind and protection they deserve.